Reuters: Iran has been operating training programs for Iraqi Shi’ite militants at secret bases for several months as part of its efforts to destabilize Iraq, an opponent of the Iranian government said on Tuesday. NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) – Iran has been operating training programs for Iraqi Shi’ite militants at secret bases for several months as part of its efforts to destabilize Iraq, an opponent of the Iranian government said on Tuesday.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, who accurately disclosed important details about Iran’s nuclear program in 2002, said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been running the camps with the full knowledge and approval of the Iranian government.
“Over the past few months the Iranian regime has stepped up its efforts to destabilize Iraq and further escalate the violence there,” Jafarzadeh said at a press conference.
Jafarzadeh provided names, dates and details of alleged training activities he said had been provided to him by Iranian opposition groups.
While at the camps, militants are instructed by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force and Lebanese members of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Islamic militant group, in unconventional warfare, explosives and shoulder-launched anti-aircraft weapons.
Iran denies it is supporting sectarian groups in Iraq or promoting the anti-U.S. insurgency.
“Senior Iraqi officials are part of this network that is training Shi’ite militia groups in Iran who are then sent back to Iraq to escalate violence and target U.S. and coalition forces,” Jafarzadeh said at a press conference.
He named Abu Ahmand Al-Ramisi, the present governor of Al-Muthanna Province in Iraq, along with Hadi Al-Ameri, the head of the Iraqi National Assembly’s Security Committee, as key figures in the network.
Both men are associated with the Badr organization, the Iranian-trained armed wing of SCIRI, an Iraqi Shi’ite party, Jafarzadeh said.